Whistler – Alive and kicking even in the summer

Whistler Village from Top of Whistler Moutain

To many people Whistler is synonymous with some of the best slopes in the world. Swoosh, swoosh down the hills in thrilling speed and with views that can only be described as spectacular. But, unlike many mountainside valleys, Whistler keeps its cool in the summer as well.

Olympics Rings in Whistler VillageIn 2010, Whistler played host to the Winter Olympics, and today the commercial villages play a vital role in keeping all visitors busy and active during those sizzling summer months.

The main village is that of Lower Village. Here tourists can embark on hour-long shopping escapades and dine at well-renowned restaurants. The village is buzzing with activity from dawn until dusk, and provide a pleasant and casual atmosphere for everyone. Whistler is a popular vacation spot for families, friends and couples.

Weekends, and especially during the evenings, the clubbing crowd hit the village. There is a wide selection of bars to choose from and they will cater to most tastes.

Peak to Peak GondolaIt is also from the Lower Village, that you step on to the journey that is the The Peak to Peak Gondola – a must. It starts in the Lower Village, and a closed Gondola takes you up the beautiful Whistler-mountain. A wonderful ride up the mountain with breathtaking views of your surroundings. But your journey has barely begun. It continues when you step on to the Bear roams freely on Whistler MountainPeak to Peak gondola that connects Whistler with Blackcomb, spanning 1,88 miles (3,02 km) in a straight line between the two towers. You will be in awe of the 360 degree views of the villages and the wildlife forest.

Whistler is bear country, so keep the camera ready. Those beautiful brown bears are walking freely, and it is not uncommon to see Gondolas to and from Whistler Mountainthem from above while you are safe and sound in your gondola. You can come back down on the Whistler side, or choose to opt for the open ski lifts on the Blackcomb Mountain. Which is actually where we had three independent bear sightings in a matter of minutes.

But wait, there is more. So much more. Nature Alta Lake, just south of Whistler Villagefreaks will love the hiking trails that Whistler has to offer. Bring some comfortable hiking shoes, and appropriate gear, this is not to be missed. Mountain bikers can enjoy adrenalin kicking adventures on the rough Whistler paths or how about a round of miniature golf? Whistler has become a true summer destination in its own right.

Now, let us talk transportation. The hills are perfect for road trippers. Get in the car, and driveup the beautiful mountainside. It takes about three hours from Vancouver. You will be amazed by the luxuriant nature, and make sure to pull over when you come close to the picturesque waterfalls and peaceful lakes.

If you don’t have a car, opt for the wonderful experience of the Rocky Mountaineer. This is a very special train ride – and one not to be missed. It starts at the train station in North Vancouver where everyone is greeted with juices, coffee and tea, and the accordion player sets the perfect mountain mood. Once comfortably aboard, this three hour long journey will take you up to Whistler on a very different route than the cars can travel. Actually, you will only get to see this side if you take the train. And again, keep an eye out for the bears. The train journey in itself is magnificent, but we would advise you to bring along some food.

Although this is included in the ticket, it really is not a picnic and airline food seems like a gourmet meal in comparison. We were served a very cold sandwich each, with jam and butter spread.

But there is not just one village. A slightly more calmer side to Whistler is to be found in the Upper Village, home to hotels such as the Fairmont and Four Seasons. Upper Village is about a ten minute walk from the main village and Whistler mountain, however, it is in the backyard of Blackcomb Mountain.

Mini Golf next to the Fairmont in Upper Village

If you happen to be staying at the Fairmont, be sure to take advantage of their miniature golf facilities. Wonderful greenery at the foot of Blackcomb Mountain. And why not go for lunch at one of the many restaurants afterwards. Renowned Milestone’s are amongst many of the eateries holding fort close by.

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